Saturday, February 28, 2009

SCS Non-Raffle for Victorian Bushfire Appeal... and a Card!

Thanks to the super talented, wonderfully generous Beth Silaika aka Freckled and Fun, we now have our very own logo to promote this worthy cause!!! Please feel free to use it on your blog to spread the word. We have received many wonderful prize offerings, but we could always use more. If you're interested, please contact me or Debbie. We hope to go live on SCS very soon.

If you need more info about what we're up to, please read this post and this post.

We truly are a global community, and it's a wonderful thing.

Obviously, I haven't had much time to stamp lately. I hate it when life's demands get in the way of stamping time, don't you? I'm starting to have withdrawal symptoms, and the only cure is for me to get in my stamp room and start inking up! But, first, duty calls. I'm determined to get all my chores done today so that I can relax tomorrow.

I did manage to squeeze in one card about a week ago, and finally have a moment to post it.

This was in response to the CPS #104 sketch
sponsored by Papertrey Ink. So, of course, I had to use my new Friends 'til the End stamp set! I love it! It also gave me an excuse to use some of the new SEI paper I picked up at the Scrapbook Expo. This piece is from the Bridgeport collection. It's perfect for this stamp set, don't you think? I took a close-up pixture so that you can see the shimmer in the paper. Lovely!

The little felt butterfly is from Heidi Swapp. I'm sorry to say I've forgotten who makes the little pearls. The cardstock and satin ribbon is PTI's Spring Moss, but I'm afraid my photography skills don't do it justice.

Okay, off to do my chores. Thank you all for stopping by and most especially for supporting the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. I think in this time of almost constant bad news, it's nice to be reminded that there truly is a lot of good to be thankful for.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

We Need Your Help!!!

No doubt you have heard about the devastating Victorian Bushfires that have claimed many lives and homes, including entire towns. We in California have experienced similar devastation because of our extremely dry, hot weather and never-ending drought conditions. Like every natural disaster, our hearts and prayers go out to people affected, and many of us wish there were something we could do to help. Well, there is!

Through this wonderful world of blogging, I've made friends with Debbie Pamment. Debbie lives in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, and has donated food, money, and blood to help the fire victims. Yet she still laments not being able to do more, especially since she knows people who have been directly affected by the fires. This got me to thinking about the Splitcoast Non-Raffle for Midwest Flood Relief held last August. So I got in touch with Jenn Balcer (who, by the way, is every bit as sweet as I've heard she is on various blogs and postings) to find out how we could get something similar started for the Victorian Bushfire victims. She offered to help get it all set up on SCS for us once we pull it together, and suggested that I contact Peggysue, who spearheaded the Midwest Flood Relief non-raffle.

Peggysue got right back to me when I PM'd her, and gave me a wealth of advice and encouragement. I can't thank her enough! So, with the advice and encouragement we needed, Debbie and I are teaming up to get the ball rolling.

The first order of business is to solicit donations of prizes, which can be either products or handcrafted items. All of these will be displayed in a special gallery set up on the SCS website. The donors will mail the prizes directly to those who win (which could be anywhere in the world... the shipping cost will be part of your donation to this very worthy cause), and there will be a winner for EACH prize, so hopefully lots of chances to win! But, most importantly, we will be helping our Aussie friends. All money raised will go to the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfires Appeal.

If you are interested in donating an item, be it a stamp set, crafting materials, a handcrafted item, or anything else, please contact me ( or Debbie as soon as possible. If you know someone who might also be interested in contributing, please forward this blog post to them. Any way we can get the word out is most appreciated. We'd like to have commitments and photos of all the donations by next Saturday, February 28th, if possible so that we can kick off the non-raffle in March.

The most wonderful thing about stampers and scrappers... in fact, all crafters... is the amazing amount of generosity, the spirit of giving and sharing, and all the kindness and fun. These are the reasons I cannot let a single day go by without checking in, even if only for a few moments. It's always refreshing to my soul. Oh, and the eye candy is pretty darn wonderful too! *smile*

Thank you so very kindly for considering this request for donations. And remember, if you can't donate, then stay tuned for the non-raffle because we'll really need your help then!

God bless,


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having Fun...

... and even when you're not!

Hello my blogging friends. Have you missed me? I'm starting to miss myself. I just realized that it's been more than a week since my last post. I wish I could say that I've been on an exotic cruise, or that I won the lottery and I've been on a spending frenzy, or that I've been so busy stamping that I haven't had time to blog. But, alas, no. I've just been preoccupied with a few things... some good, some not so good. But I'm never really very far away because not a day goes by that I don't blog surf. It's such a lovely way to spend a few stolen moments here and there... like a little vacation!

One fun thing that I did this past week was attend the Scrapbook Expo in Costa Mesa on Saturday with my BFF Lisa. Talk about excellent Retail Therapy! Yowser! I wondered if there would be fewer people this year because of the dismal economy. I think there probably were a few less, but not remarkably so. What really was a sign of the times were the sales. I paid full price on very few items. Nearly everyone was running massive sales, and I don't mean maybe. Of course, I had to buy because, as my husband likes to say, "the more you spend, the more you save!" (I think he was being sarcastic, but how am I supposed to know? *wink*) Let's just say this, I did my part to stimulate the economy!!!

Of course, between the Expo and the recent Papertrey Ink release, I'm all set for the next several years. But that won't stop me. Have you been to see my life story yet, "Confessions of a Shopaholic"? The gal who plays me could pass for my twin, don't you think? ROTFL!

Seriously, though, I can't wait to get back into my craft room and play with some of my new goodies. For one thing, I bought Shimmerz... and tons of Melissa Frances papers and embellishments, and some new SEI paper, and, and, and... you'll just have to wait and see!

Okay, back to reality. The card I've posted today is sort of a twin of the one I last posted. It's something I already had made up. I'll say it again... I love this Stampin Up stamp set Cheep Talk and the DSP Good Morning Sunshine, and the coudurouy buttons. That's a chipboard flower that I painted from So Tweet. I know this was based on a sketch challenge, but I'm drawing a blank on which one, and a quick look around isn't revealing the source to me. When I find it, I'll edit this post.

In the meantime, have a great evening. I have a special something I'm planning to share with you soon, plus something else I've got up my sleeve, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Kristine!

One of the very best parts... strike that... THE very best part of blogging is meeting people from all across the country and around the world. I've been blessed with some awesome blogging friends, who are becoming as real as friends get.

One is Kristine Breach, who is celebrating her birthday on Thursday. Kristine is my kind of girl because she's throwing herself a party! Well, actually, she's celebrating her birthday by GIVING away some very cool blog candy. You need to pop right over to her blog and follow the instructions for a chance to win... but be sure to take the time to look at her awesome eye candy while you're there. You only have until 5:00 pm PST, so hop on over now!

I had planned to make a Sophia Gliding By card for Kristine. She's made a couple of great ones lately, which reminded me that I need to ink mine up. Kristine challenged me to get 'er done. Well, I tried. I did. I really did. But my creation flopped badly. So I finally threw in the towel... or, should I say, Sophia glided right into the trash can. Poor girl.

So, stay tuned, Kristine. Your Sophia card is coming, my friend! In the meantime, I thought I'd share this one that I made last week with my new Stampin Up goodies. The stamp set is called Cheep Talk, and this card doesn't even begin to cover all the possibilities. I absolutely LOVE the Good Morning Sunshine DSP, which is surrounded here by Kiwi Kiss cardstock. And those new corduroy buttons are so awesome! Some are actually brads (like the one I used in this card) and others are actual buttons. So cool.

The sketch was Mojo Monday week 72.

The greeting is from one of the Level 1 Hostess Sets that just retired. The saying is perfect. I AM so glad we are friends!

Thanks for stopping by. Time for beddy bye.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This One's For Melissa

I am a huge fan of Melissa Phillips. She is an incredible artist. Her signature style is shabby chic, and the color of her love is pink. So when she posted a challenge to create a card inspired by this Jillie Willie bag, I decided to create one in Melissa's style.

I don't profess to come close to her talent, but I had a lot of fun creating this card, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

I learned how to make the ribbon flower from another of my very favorite artists, Debbie Olson. You can see the tutorial at this link. I used Stampin Up's Pink Pirouette 1-1/4" grosgrain ribbon for my flower. The stem has layers of Regal Rose ribbon and a bit of lace. The card base is also Pink Pirouette, to which I stitched some DP from My Mind's Eye's Laundry Line collection. The little yellow buttons are from Stampin Up's Button Latte collection. The stamped greeting is from PTI's Heartfelt Basics stamp set. I think I'll send this to my sister Kim for her birthday, which is coming up in less than 2 weeks. Kim's favorite color is pink, too.

Thanks, Melissa, for your inspiration and showing me that you can interpret an inspiration piece in subtle ways that might not at first be obvious (like my extreme change in color scheme). And thanks Debbie for showing me how to make those cool ribbon flowers! Is this a good day, or what?

And, yes, I realize I'm too late for the Jillie Willie prize, but I don't mind. The fun was in the making of this card. Although I have to say, those are some darn cute bags! I might just have to add a Jillie Willie to my purse collection. Maybe I should go see the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic" first! *grin*

Before I go, I have to share a couple of pictures with you that I took a little while ago while standing out in my backyard, filling my lungs with cool, clean air after a rain shower. Mmm.... it was heavenly. It isn't much, but this is a glimpse of my California winter. (I love that little bird feeder that Avery hung in this plum tree.)

And here's a picture of my girls, Sadie and Molly, who were out there with me, barking at a big huge dog who walked by. They can afford to be brave when they are safely behind a gate! {LOL} Oh, and Paul, Honey, the gate needs new chicken wire.

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend and are ready for the new week ahead. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Today's PTI Challenge

I'm seeing spots! Today's PTI challenge is the Bitty Dot Sketch Challenge.

Didn't I tell you that Nichole really knows how to throw a party? Up for grabs today is ALL of the Papertrey Ink ribbon, including the new colors New Leaf and Melon Berry. Holy Moly! I'm hoping my raffle karma is in high gear today because I dearly love ribbon, especially spotted ribbon. So I'm extra excited to hear that PTI will be carrying a new bitty dot satin ribbon. And I'm also looking forward to the new Bitty Dot Basics paper, and the new colors, and, and, and... oh, sorry... I started to swoon! {LOL} And we haven't even seen the new stamp sets yet!

Since we're winding down to Valentine's Day, I decided to pull out one of the first sets I ever bought from Papertrey Ink called My Punny Valentine. All but the red heart brads are from PTI. I'm actually loving the way this card turned out... so fun!

Well, I need to do my taxes now... not much fun, except getting the refund makes it worthwhile, so off I go. I'll be back later to share some more creations. I think I'm on a streak lately!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your day! P.S. Does anyone know what a Moly is? hee hee

Friday, February 6, 2009

More PTI Fun!

After missing the deadline for the last PTI challenge because I can't tell time (ahem), I didn't want to take any chances on missing the current challenge, Over the Rainbow. This is a color challenge, and it was definitely a challenge for me. I would never have thought to put these colors together on my own. But that's why they call it a challenge, right?

I thought perhaps a simple layout would be best, so I chose the Fall-to Layout (FTL) 27 on the Clean and Simple blog.

The stamp set is Around and About Sentiments by Heather Nichols (Pinefeather Press). This is a MUST HAVE set because of its versatility.

I finally pulled out my Janome Sew Mini and did some stitching around the edge to add a bit of interest. I've really got to do that more often. It's really sew easy!

I'll be back tomorrow to share some Stampin Up creations, so stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by!

Papertrey Ink Fun!

It's no secret that I LOVE Papertrey Ink. I discovered them about a year ago and look forward to each and every release. The build-up is so much fun... Nichole certainly knows how to set the stage and generate a lot of interest and anticipation in each month's release. This month is no exception. In fact, it's the normal excitement times ten (maybe 100!) because PTI is celebrating its second anniversary. I've been swept right along with the fun, wondering each day what will come next. Sometimes it's torture! {LOL}

Nichole is issuing some challenges this time for a chance to win prizes, and the It's In the Bag Challenge is one I couldn't miss! Who wouldn't want to win a cool PTI tote and a $100 gift card? And who wouldn't want to attend the CHA Craft Super Show in Florida this summer and take part in all the fun??? I'm already trying to figure out how many lottery tickets I'll have to buy before I'd win enough money to make it happen! *wink* Come to think of it, it's high time I visited my sister, who lives in Florida... Kim, get the guest room ready!

Anyway, the challenge is to create, alter or decorate a bag of any kind, so I pulled out Lauren Meader's My Timeless Templates Purse-onality Clutch and this is what I created. The cardstock is Rasberry Fizz and the DP is Rasberry Fizz Mix... luscious! The handle is Raspberry Fizz stitched grosgrain, tied with Rasberry Fizz swiss dots ribbon and layered with a white flower button tied with sheer white polka dot ribbon. The stamps are Heart Prints, which I adore. I'm going to fill this little purse with Bliss chocolates and give it to a friend for Valentine's Day. While I'm at it, I think I'll have to make a few more because these are quick and easy and fun to make.

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to follow along with the Papertrey fun!

Edited to add: I just realized that the contest ended last night at midnight. Duh! But I still enjoyed making the purse. Does anybody really know what time it is?

Look, Ma, No DP!!!

When was the last time you made a card without using Designer Paper? I know it's been a loooooong time for me. I remember when I first started stamping about 8 years ago, we never used DP on our cards. The rules of the game then were "speckle and sponge" and creating background papers with wheels and random stamping. I have to say that I prefer the DP look, but sometimes it's fun to go back to the simpler days.

I actually made this card a week or so ago and forgot to post it until today when... guess what!... it's finally raining in So Cal! Yay, hooray!!! I love rain. I really do love rain. Probably because we get so little of it here. And boy do we need it. It's been such a dry winter that we're in for a really hot, dry summer and lots of wildfires. Yuck.

So, this is me, doing my rain dance! Actually, it's a stamp set from Paper Pretties called Rainy Day Friends. Sophia and her doggie are colored with Copic Markers. The cardstock is SU's Taken With Teal and PTI's Summer Sunrise, as is the ribbon.

I think I'll go outside and splash in a puddle, just for the heck of it. Have a great day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Friend

I finally got to play with Jen's Sketch For You To Try this past weekend AND give my long-neglected Stampin Up stamps some love. I know the sketch calls for a band at the top, but I just couldn't bear to cover up any more of this luscious Raspberry Tart DP.
The stamps are from the Sweet Stems set, and colored with Cameo Coral, Pretty in Pink, Rose Red and Kiwi Kiss reinkers using my blender pen. Yes, it's true... I put aside my Copics for this card. Oh, except for one thing. I took a vanilla Hodgepodge Hardware piece and colored it with one of my Copic markers. I think that it might have worked better on the silver, but I'm not sure. There were areas resisting the color, which means... as I learned at Copic Certification class...that there is something in the vanilla coating that doesn't like alcohol markers. I was going to toss it out, but I thought the mottled look was kinda cool, so I left it alone. What do you think?

I'm feeling rather guilty for neglecting Stampin Up, so I'm going to get back to my roots... especially since my first order since the premier of the new catalog (except for demonstrator preorders) just arrived and is waiting at the front door to be unpacked! So I'll sign off for now and get to it. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

And it was a happy day! As I mentioned in a previous post, my friend Susan and I were lucky enough to get two open spots at Marianne Walker's Copic Certification class at CHA Anaheim. Susan had never even touched a Copic marker before, and I think she is now sold on how wonderful they are. As for me, they already had me at "hello," but now I feel more comfortable with the markers and I have a better idea of what is possible with Copic. Now I just have to practice!

Marianne is the artist behind many of the Our Craft Lounge stamp sets, and she had the Pat the Dog sets available for us to try our newly acquired coloring skills. Now I'm in love with those sets, and I'm looking forward to see what new goodies OCL will release very soon.

This is one of the images I stamped and colored at the class. A big thanks to Vicki Garrett, who was kind enough to give me a few shading tips. Susan and I lucked out and got to sit with Vicki and Kristi Ferro, the owner of Hanna Stamps. They were both so sweet. They couldn't stay long, as they had to dash out to set up the Hanna booth, but we enjoyed chatting with them a bit and seeing some cute cards that Vicki had on hand. I believe a big release is coming up for Hanna, too! I saw some cute Rileys that day...

Here is a picture of the four of us:

And here is a picture of me receiving my Copic Certificate from Marianne:

I am NOT photogenic, or maybe I'm just delusional about how I really look (yikes), but a bit of lipstick and a comb through my hair would have been a good idea. I guess I was too busy coloring and having fun to worry about my looks! {LOL}

Back to the card! I finally got a chance to play along with Taylor's Friday Cupcake Challenge this weekend.
The DP is Berry Sweet from K&Company. The card base is from the Taylored Expressions Valentine Key Ingredients kit, and the image mat is SU's Regal Rose. I punched the little butterflies out of the DP and made them into brads with SU's Build-a-Brad (love, love, love Build-a-Brad!). The ribbon is also from the Valentine Key Ingredients kit, which I understand is now sold out. And, of course, that's Pat the Dog from Our Craft Lounge (can you say CUTE!). This card makes me smile.

The weekend is coming to a close, and as usual it wasn't long enough. But if we lived our lives by weekends, it would be a very short life indeed! Enjoy your week, and I'll be back soon with more cards to share.